This Day in History: 1823-02-21

Eduard Oscar Schmidt (1823 – 1886) was born on this day. He was a German zoologist, professor of zoology at the University of Cracow, later at the University of Graz then Strasbourg. Areas of work included phycology and the Porifera on which he wrote a number of monographs covering the Adriatic, Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean. As early as 1862 Schmidt carried out experiments demonstrating that cuttings of sponges will attach themselves and grow.

He is honoured in the name of the Porifera family Oscarellidae and two of its genera and in a number of species under oscari, and schmidti.

Porifera, taxonomic rank of Phylum containing the animals commonly known as sponges. Derived from Latin, porus (Greek, poros), passage through a porous substance, opening, passage through the skin; and fero, to bear, carry; loosely speaking – pore-bearer.